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The Man Without a Country (1973)

Not Rated | | Drama | TV Movie 24 April 1973
During the 1800s, an American officer who renounces his country during his court-martial is sentenced to sail the seas on American warships without ever setting foot on American soil again or getting news of America.

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Philip Nolan
...
Frederick Ingham
...
Arthur Danforth
...
Lt. Cmdr. Vaughan
...
Col. A.B. Morgan
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Slave on ship
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Secretary of the Navy
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Aaron Burr
...
Mrs. Graff
Alexander Clark ...
Capt. Minton
...
Capt. Pendleton
Peter Coffield ...
Lt. Vinson
...
Chief Justice Marshall
Geddeth Smith ...
Lt. Philips
Laurence Guittard ...
Lt. Pritchard
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Storyline

At his court martial for conspiring to attack and annex Mexico with Aaron Burr, young Army officer Philip Nolan angrily blurts out that he wishes to never again hear of the United States. The tribunal, shocked by his outburst, sentences him to exile, permanently sailing the high seas on Navy ships, never to set foot on American soil again, with orders to all crew members that he is never to see or hear anything about his erstwhile homeland. As the decades pass, Nolan earns the friendship and respect of many crewmen, including proving himself an able warrior during one ferocious sea battle. He becomes a hungry scholar of languages and natural sciences gleaned from foreign books and comes to regret his views, causing his shipboard comrades to beseech Washington for leniency and forgiveness for the repentant man, now America's most ardent admirer.

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Taglines:

One man was an island.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

24 April 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Mann ohne Vaterland  »

Filming Locations:

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Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Version of The Man Without a Country (1917) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A high mark in 1970s television.
21 June 2017 | by See all my reviews

"A Man Without a Country" is an exceptional piece of film work considering it was made for television. Normally, you'd expect less...and I was thrilled when I watched this again, as I only saw it when it originally aired and I was quite young at the time.

The story is fictional but the way it's constructed you might think it's a true story. Philip Nolan (Cliff Robertson) spends his life aboard US Navy ships but never gets to see the United States itself. So, when the ship approaches the American coast, he's transferred to another ship. Why such a bizarre existence? It seems that when he was young, he was involved with a treasonous plot involving Aaron Burr. When he was brought up on charges since he was in the US Navy, instead of taking his punishment he was very mouthy at the hearing and said, in essence, he never wanted to see the USA again. So, a bizarre punishment was meted out...and thus he spent the rest of his life on the seas...never seeing his home. But he manages to change a lot over the years and becomes a valuable crew member during the War of 1812....and comes to love and appreciate America. Can a young officer on a crusade manage to get a pardon for poor Nolan?

This featured so much to love--an excellent cast (Cliff Robertson, Beau Bridges, Peter Strauss, Robert Ryan and Walter Abel), a sad and interesting story and lovely production values. Although this is a bit cerebral and many kids and action film fans won't like it, I think it's one of the better made for TV films of the era.


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